Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has asked that the Department of Justice investigate voting practices in Ohio after another series of "corrections" in the law from earlier this year. The new law will mean that fewer provisional ballots will count, and the agreements that NEOCH struck with the State are no longer valid. Those who show up to vote in person without the proper ID will be able to vote by provisional ballot, but it is unlikely that those ballots will count in the end. NEOCH has always worried that homeless people who show up in person on election day to vote will be given a worthless piece of paper to cast a ballot. As one of the founders of the local ID Collaborative, I know that it can take 60 to 90 days sometimes to get a birth certificate from a number of states. Birth certificates are the basis of all ID.
These laws do not secure the ballot in Ohio, but act as a barrier for low income, homeless, minority and seniors from voting. We all understand how easy it is to vote by mail, but there are many people who do not believe that vote by mail is secure and so they want to vote in person on election day. These die-hards who love the civic nature of voting in person risk losing the right to vote if they do not have the correct identification. They may have voted in the same place for the last 40 years, and no longer keep an updated state identification their ballot faces challenge. Our agreement was that they could use their social security number on the provisional ballot to prove their identification. This was thrown out by the legislature this year. Why?? There is no proof of people showing up in person and voting duplicate ballots or foreigners pretending to be citizens and voting in large numbers. The other side always says, "If one ballot cast is corrupt it diminishes the vote for all of us." Strange that this policy of one violation of the law impacts us all is only enforced when it comes to voting. It does not apply to one vote purchased by lobbyists that is much easier in the Citizen's United era. It does not apply to gun violence, corporate corruption that causes injury in the auto industry or predatory lending of our veterans. Also strange that the people who have to bear the burden of additional scrutiny of the ballots seem to vote for one party which happens to not be in power in Ohio.
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